Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro safety K.J. Jarrell was happy with his already impressive list of scholarship offers from the likes of Washington, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, UCLA and others, but a call from USC Wednesday was still enough to put a smile on his face.
“The defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach from USC came out to my last spring ball practice of the week, so they were sort of hinting that they may offer me then,” said Jarrell. “I didn’t talk to them, but they called my coach and basically told him that’s what they were thinking.
“They pulled the trigger today, but I haven’t even talked to them yet. They called my coach, so we’ll end up calling them tomorrow to talk about the offer.
“This offer definitely stands out a little more just because it’s USC. I mean, they stand out just based on the amount of players they put into the NFL on a yearly basis. It’s very special.”
Jarrell has never visited USC, but plans to take an unofficial visit in the next month.
“I don’t know too much about the school, but I know about the football because it’s all over the place,” said Jarrell. “I will take a visit sometime at the end of this month or the beginning of July.”
Jarrell, 6-foot-2, 185-pounds, is another bigger, longer safeties making USC’s recruiting board this cycle. While Jarrell has yet to speak with the Trojans coaching staff about his fit within their secondary, he does have an idea why they are after him.
“I think I would fit in nice there,” said Jarrell. “The coaches have mentioned how Su’a Cravens played for them as a rover type safety who could also come down and play linebacker.
“They could see me fitting in at that position as long as I come in and add more weight. I can stop the run and cover as well.”
At this time of year recruits with the 20-plus scholarship offers Jarrell has usually want to narrow their list of choices. While Jarrell doesn’t have a official list of college options narrowed, he is making cuts privately.
“I have been talking with my parents about a certain list of schools — I forgot how many we had,” said Jarrell. “I’ve started eliminating some college I just couldn’t see myself going to.
“USC is definitely in there, but I do have to it down with my parents and talk about it. I don’t even remember what schools we talked about. Before the season starts I hope to get it down to a top 10.”
Schools like UCLA, Arizona State, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Washington have also been mentioned among Jarrell’s favorite schools, but he is still months away from announcing an official visit itinerary.
Jarrell does want to spread his official visits out during the football season and after it.
“Christian (Kirk) and Byron (Murphy) both took official visits during the season,” said Jarrell. “I spoke to my coaches about it and it’s an option.
“I did take a class I didn’t need just in case I wanted to graduate early. I haven’t decided on that yet though.”
While much remains to be determined for Jarrell, he does have three main factors in his recruitment that will influence his decision on a college.
“Coaches will be one of them,” said Jarrell. “I definitely want to feel comfortable with my coaches. Location will be another factor.
“I’ll be loving at that school for four years, so I want to be comfortable with my surroundings. That doesn’t have anything to do with leaving close to home though. I also want to go to a school where I fit into their scheme. A place I know I can contribute.”